What hurts about beauty

I slept too late and moved too slowly. When I gathered my seven pieces of colored paper, the shapes would not play.

They sat stiffly in their rectangles and triangles, and waited for the time to pass until the daily call from Pakistan came and I had to answer it.

After a lot of commotion, I finally have a space for art that is clean, spacious, warm, well-lit, with carpet that feels good under my feet. It’s not the space.

My own artistic silence cuts me and stains it red.

There is the pain of beauty I cannot render into form.

What hurts is when I see beauty in my mind but cannot work it into a painting.

Or when I see the beauty in front of me and try to capture the image but I can’t because I lack the skill or the equipment.

Or when I feel the beauty inside, but I sit with my pieces of glass and my hands don’t move.

There is the pain of beauty that doesn’t get its due.

What hurts is when I see a glimpse of beauty but I pass it by because “I don’t have time,” because something unimportant requires my attention.

Or when I see beauty in some simple, everyday thing but I never mention it.

Herat blue glass
The Maker’s Breath

What hurts is when I succeed in capturing beauty in an image but others don’t recognize it. Like this photo, which I have always loved but no one else seemed to:

Three Trees In Late Afternoon
Three Trees In Late Afternoon, 2008

Maybe what hurts worse is when I capture beauty in many images but no one else ever sees it because I can’t find the right way to put it out where it can be seen.

Or maybe the worst is when I capture beauty and make a print and no one even stops to look at it in the art show.

If only I could project what I see and feel from my mind straight into yours, the world would no longer be so painful.

When I die, will they know that it was because all the beauty became too much for me to hold?

Today’s penny is a 2012, the year I photographed the Jamaica Leaf series. The featured image above is just one of them. I have a print of it on satin which has never sold.


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